Connecticut’s selection of the graduating Blue Devils forward wasn’t made solely due to her individual playing abilities.
Sure, she’ll eventually help the Sun in the post as she develops into a pro, an identified need Connecticut filled as indicated by various media analysts covering the event.
However, with the Seattle Storm taking University of Connecticut standout Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis third overall, Williams’ selection set up the reunion of one of the most exciting tandems that the women’s college game had seen in recent years.
Even while being plagued by knee injuries during her final two seasons at Duke, the guard had already set numerous school and league marks as a ball-handler, passer, scorer and all-around talent.
It wasn’t unusual to see how she took control of a game, kept opposing defenses guessing, particularly when she unleashed her no-look or behind-the-back passes to teammates like Williams, a recipient of many of those sequences.
The Sun saw Gray’s potential to become just as impressive a talent at the pro level, so they drafted her first, regardless of missing the remainder of her senior year while recovering from a dislocated knee cap.
They drafted her and allowed her time to recover, missing last season to do so.
With Gray ready to make her pro debut and coupled with drafting Williams who can develop along with her former teammate, all of a sudden the possibility of the Sun contending for a championship in the near future increased exponentially.
Both players are part of a roster that includes ample young talent including former ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas who played at Maryland and former Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike.
There is much reason for women’s basketball fans in Connecticut and the Triangle to be excited, in addition to that already shown by the players themselves.
“I kind of figured once Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis) went third that the likelihood of me going to Connecticut was pretty high,” Williams said following her selection.
“With their situation just having an extra post in there would be really good.”
“It’s going to be great,” Williams continued when talking about once again playing alongside Gray.
“She was at Duke and in Tampa so I got to talk to her for a little bit. It will be really fun to play with her again. She is an amazing player.”
For Duke fans, watching Gray and Williams begin their WNBA careers with Connecticut will come as soon as June 5 when the Sun open the season by hosting the Washington Mystics.